8 , 2001
In the last 15 months the animation industry has seen quite a few changes take place. To some, the industry has gone from phenomenal growth to decline, while others insist that everything is just fine. In one day a company may be hiring like mad, while another is laying off talent because work has left the country for parts unknown. Despite continued creation and distribution of animated and effect laden features, commercials, television programs, and Internet shorts, the actual state of the Industry is still up in the air.
I've mentioned before that I routinely visit CG sites to check out what kind of great work animators and CG professionals are turning out, I also take the time to visit some of the "chat" groups that abound on the Internet. If you have not checked these groups out, I suggest you do so as often they are populated with industry professionals who are working on some very interesting projects, and once the chat community gets to know you, everyone is willing to speak their mind on what is right and wrong with their profession. Thus was the case a few weeks ago when I began chatting with many of the regulars in a popular animation channel. This spun off into a great panel discussion that includes many animators and industry professionals.
His most notable feature production (key shot) work includes The Prince of Egypt, Godzilla, The Mask, Star Trek:Generations and Cliffhanger. Currently Joe is programming Shave and a Haircut: Extreme for the LightWave and 3dsmax communities.
Strategic/Product Marketing Manager3D
Motion Picture VFX Artist
Digital Media Online: Thank you all for taking the time out of your busy schedules to talk. With so many questions, I guess the first place to begin is by asking, what is the current state of the industry as you see it?
Daryl Bartley: That's really hard to say. More of it is being done than ever, but more people are out of work than ever. I think the same thing is capable of happening to 3D that happened to 2D.
Dave Campbell: I think animation is in a great place right now. Sure, there are always concerns on the production side about where the next job will come fromand any ups and downs in the industry are in many ways a natural part of the cycle.
But animation itself, be it for use in feature films, games or design, is becoming more accessible to a wider range of people, and the hardware and software involved is making the process of getting the art done much easier.
Mark Sylvester: From a pure numbers position no one can ignore the thousands of positions that have been lost in the [last] 12 months. This is having ripple effects in everything we experience, both at work and in our personal lives. We are making different decisions about our entertainment dollars than we did last year. Consumers are torn between spending $10 on the next cool film, buying the latest game for their console or saving up for the next great gadget.
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Stephen Schleicher is the producer of DMNTV, Digital WebCast and Digital Animators and is the host of the Digital WebCast forum at the World Wide User Groups. He has taught at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, and at the American InterContinental University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he also ran his own animation company, Thunderhead Productions. Stephen also freelanced in the Atlanta area as a producer/editor for five years working on everything from training videos to live shows.
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